A Mother’s Grief | Gena Hannett


A Mother’s Grief

Gena Hannett

Major Contest 2018: The Hate and Coat Award

My eyes remain focused on the small playground that stands in the middle of an even smaller park.  The park itself is more or less a vacant block of land with no interesting or colourful plants to make it stand out.  People would generally walk by without even noticing it.

The cold wind rushes through me, making my body shiver in response.

Since the early morning, no-one had come into the park.  My hopes of ever finding the right one diminishes with every passing moment.

I’ll never find the one in two days at this rate … What’s the point!

As I slowly get ready to head my empty home, out of the corner of my eye, I spot a woman pushing a pram in front and a little girl walking beside her.  The girl’s coat catches my attention the most.  The bright, vibrant, sky blue coat stands out from the dark, grey and glooming surrounds.  The coat reminds me of my Annie’s favourite raincoat.  The little girl wearing the coat however did not look like her.

With her long, messy blonde hair in the way, she races towards the run-down playground while her mother pays attention between the unseen but loud baby that lays in the pram, and her mobile phone.

What a lazy, ungrateful mother! She doesn’t deserve to have such a beautiful girl as her child.

I was an excellent mum for my little girl and any child would be the luckiest one in the world to have me as their mother.  The only time I made a mistake resulted in me losing my Annie.  One little mistake. Annie was a sweet and lovely child who was very imaginative and funny.  I was an amazing mother! It was an accident!  I didn’t and don’t deserve what has happened to me! I just need another chance.

Rocking back and forth on the old, metallic rocking horse in the play area; a humongous grin stretches across the girl’s doll-like face.  The sound of laughter and giggling immediately fills up the surrounding environment.  For the first time in a long time I am feeling good.  No anger of what had happened; no sadness over being utterly alone; just a spark of pure happiness.

Even though the girl doesn’t look like my Annie, she seems to behave like her.  She’s curious and imaginative like her.  They’re both cute as a button with a very cheeky smile that would light up anyone’s day.

Her long blonde hair wouldn’t be a problem to dye, and I’ll have to trim it a bit so it will be the length as Annie’s.

This is it. This girl is the one I have been searching for to replace my Annie. The girl who will make me whole again.

The mother still maintains her attention between the baby and the mobile phone.  She stands facing the little girl however.  She’ll spot me from a mile away if I walk up to the girl.  I need her to face the opposite direction if I ever have a chance of succeeding in retrieving the girl.  The burst of excitement towards the girl begins to descend once more.
Thinking once again that all is hopeless, I feel the tears run down my face.  Just as I was going to have a new daughter to care for and to cherish, this vile woman stomps on my chance of fulfilment in life to the point of crashing it flat into the ground.

Then fate deals me a better hand.

The phone in her delicate hands begins to vibrate and sing as loud as it can.  The woman answers the call and swiftly turns her back towards the playground and the little girl.

This is it.  This is my chance.  It’s now or never.

As I walk silently towards the girl, I start to imagine the happiness this girl will bring to me.  I think about how we’ll play together and how I will read bedtime stories to her.  I deserve to have that life.  I will have that life.

When I reach up to her, she faces with big beautiful blue eyes.  Like my Annie’s eyes.

“Hello sweetie”